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Bletchley Declaration: Nigeria, UK, others agree to safe, responsible AI development

Nigeria has joined leading AI nations including the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and China to agree to a safe and responsible…

Nigeria has joined leading AI nations including the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and China to agree to a safe and responsible development of frontier AI development.

They reached a world-first agreement at Bletchley Park establishing a shared understanding of the opportunities and risks posed by frontier AI and the need for governments to work together to meet the most significant challenges.

The Bletchley Declaration on AI safety sees 28 countries from across the globe agreeing to the urgent need to understand and collectively manage potential risks through a new joint global effort to ensure AI is developed and deployed in a safe, responsible way for the benefit of the global community.

Countries endorsing the Declaration also include Brazil, France, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Declaration fulfils key summit objectives in establishing shared agreement and responsibility on the risks, opportunities and a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research, particularly through greater scientific collaboration.

According to a statement by Ndidiamaka Eze, a Senior Press & Public Affairs Officer, at the British Deputy High Commission in Nigeria, talks on Thursday, with leading frontier AI companies and experts from academic and civil society, will see further discussions on understanding frontier AI risks and improving frontier AI safety.

Countries agreed substantial risks may arise from potential intentional misuse or unintended issues of control of frontier AI, with particular concern caused by cybersecurity, biotechnology and misinformation risks.

The Declaration sets out an agreement that there is “potential for serious, even catastrophic, harm, either deliberate or unintentional, stemming from the most significant capabilities of these AI models.” Countries also noted the risks beyond frontier AI, including bias and privacy.

Recognising the need to deepen the understanding of risks and capabilities that are not fully understood, attendees have also agreed to work together to support a network of scientific research on Frontier AI safety.

This builds on the UK Prime Minister’s announcement last week for the UK to establish the world’s first AI Safety Institute and complements existing international efforts including at the G7, OECD, Council of Europe, United Nations and the Global Partnership on AI.

This is to ensure the best available scientific research can be used to create an evidence base for managing the risks whilst unlocking the benefits of the technology, including through the UK’s AI Safety Institute which will look at the range of risks posed by AI.

The Declaration details that the risks are “best addressed through international cooperation”.

As part of agreeing on a forward process for international collaboration on frontier AI safety, the Republic of Korea has agreed to co-host a mini-virtual summit on AI in the next six months.

France will then host the next in-person Summit a year from now.

The Declaration, building upon last week’s announcement of the UK’s emerging processes for AI safety, also acknowledges that those developing these unusually powerful and potentially dangerous frontier AI capabilities have a particular responsibility for ensuring the safety of these systems, including by implementing systems to test them and other appropriate measures.

Bosun Tijani, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, said: “Artificial Intelligence offers an unprecedented opportunity to appropriate knowledge more quickly and seamlessly in addressing some of our pressing socio-economic challenges. Our duty as policymakers is to ensure that our nation can participate and mainstream value creation from AI.

“As we embark on this journey to accelerating our investment in the use of AI for good, it is essential to collaborate with long-standing allies to deepen our capacity and knowledge.”

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “This is a landmark achievement that sees the world’s greatest AI powers agree on the urgency behind understanding the risks of AI – helping ensure the long-term future of our children and grandchildren.

“Under the UK’s leadership, more than twenty-five countries at the AI Safety Summit have stated a shared responsibility to address AI risks and take forward vital international collaboration on frontier AI safety and research.

“The UK is once again leading the world at the forefront of this new technological frontier by kickstarting this conversation, which will see us work together to make AI safe and realise all its benefits for generations to come.”

The full list of countries represented is below: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Nigeria, The Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, Türkiye, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.

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